The Fayette County Health Department Board of Health approved several important items at its recent July meeting.
The first was the approval of the memorandum of understanding between the Fayette County Board of Developmental Disabilities and the health department’s Help Me Grow program for service coordination renewal. This agreement will provide $40,000 a year to the Help Me Grow program.
“The agreement is part of our Help Me Grow Part C program,” Leigh Cannon, deputy health director at the Fayette County Health Department, said. “Part C is for our children that we see that have delays and disabilities or are at risk for delays or disabilities from age 0 to 3. We have service coordinators that are trained and educated in that program.”
According to Cannon, the health department and the board of DD both have children that meet the criteria for the program. They decided that instead of having coordinators at both agencies, the health department will house the coordinators and the coordinators will contract with them to see the children. Basically, Help Me Grow Part C has its requirements and the board of DD has its own as well. Since the requirements are very similar, the relationship allows the coordinators to work with all of the children.
“We have had this partnership for many years,” Cannon said. “We used to have one of their staff members work here at Help Me Grow, but that process became too difficult. So now we run the program fully once that person went to a different position. We are the central coordination office for Help Me Grow, all of the referrals come to us anyway, and the board of DD helps to fund the program and keep it going.”
Also discussed during the meeting was a motion to help resolve issues with what the health department is calling an illegal dumping site at Cartwright Salvage in Washington C.H. that has been ongoing for about 20 years. The motion to refer the matter to the Ohio Attorney General (OAG) was passed after the board found that Ohio EPA would not help, according to the minutes. The Ohio EPA also recommended that the matter be brought to the attention of the OAG.
“The Cartwright Salvage area, which has had fires recently, is not a properly licensed transfer station,” Cannon said. “They are treating the property like it is a licensed landfill and it is not. Over time it just got away from us, away from them, away from the EPA and out of hand.”
Cannon said that well before she started as deputy health director, the health department had partnered up with the EPA to get the property cleaned up and to try and get them the proper licensing and equipment to be a transfer station. This process never happened and as time went on, the company had cleaned up enough to obtain approval for hauling and other services. The company has been served cease and desist orders.
“The health department….we don’t have a lot of power without legal backing,” Cannon said. “We don’t carry guns and we cannot just fine someone without some sort of legal backing. So we are working with the EPA to refer this to the attorney general because this goes above the local prosecutors and the local health district. Cartwright Salvage is licensed to haul trash, so the people who have them for trash removal services do not need to worry. We just learned that the company has not dumped more trash since their last inspection, so we can assume they are taking the trash to a licensed transfer station.”
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy